Welcome to my digital world. I’ve been writing (for newspapers, magazines, online sites) since the 1950s, and blogging since first introduced to the idea via a paid blog for news aggregate site True/Slant in 2009. My roots are in small town Virginia and my heart is in hometown San Francisco. For more than you ever wanted to know, click on the tabs above. Current essays and hopefully enlightening &/or entertaining thoughts are under the Blog tab, or grouped in my most frequent categories below. Thanks for visiting!

Current big news: MARSHALLVILLE STORIES is HERE and available on Amazon! You can read about its genesis in this blog post.

I am indebted to editor Sara Vitale, web designer Eileen Mullin and overall consultant/cheerleader Jody Lee Collins, for invaluable literary & digital help.

Fran Moreland Johns

Optimism

A Whodunit Answer to Today’s Woes

Sometimes books are the only answer. This reporter, whiplashed by the daily news – as aren’t we all – regularly escapes into a book.…

Are We Listening to Mother Nature?

There’s looking back — — and then there’s looking wayyyy back. Interesting factoid picked up in Pompeii, which this reporter was lucky to stroll…

To Be a NATO Fan or Not To Be

Many of us (pro-NATO) are cheering Finland and Sweden’s applications for membership. Some of us can’t really follow the anti-NATO grumblings from far left…

COVID Collection

Adventures in Mountainside Driving

A travelogue: The handsome grandson, a Naval officer stationed in Sicily, is functioning as a tour guide par excellence for his mother and grandmother,…

On Being Kind to the Bees

“I would recommend more intake of pure honey, nature’s pure food that we get from the bees.” This comment came from a faithful reader,…

Guerilla Warfare in the Park

Seeking a break from domestic and international warfare, this reporter visited Mountain Lake Park, definitely one of San Francisco’s loveliest. (And my all-time favorite.)…

America

Voice of America (Not)

I got tired of listening to my raspy voice. If I’m tired of listening to my raspy voice, I thought, what about the poor…

When Dreams (& Books) Come True

“I can’t write STORIES!” I remember saying. “Real writers write stories!” This was about 30 years ago, early in my marriage to The Great…

On Earning a Living

According to the New York Times (Of Interest, April 9,) Discovery TV mogul David Zaslav “earned a compensation package valued at $246.6 million last…

End of Life

Modern Laundry 101

Do I really want to start the laundry back home, in the middle of a lobster dinner at the Ritz? Perhaps. Or maybe it…

Dying Badly in the ICU

“A performance,” the physician called it. She was referring to futile treatments of a dying patient in the Intensive Care Unit performed to make…
shallow focus photography of yellow sunflower field under sunny sky

Optimism Survives & Conquers

Watching the news, as some of us compulsively do, is hazardous to my optimist health. The virus may be in retreat here, but death…

Feminist Collection

photo medication pills on white plastic container

Today’s Miracle Drug

(Serious side effects may occur . . .) As a public service, I have begun a trial regimen of the medication reported to be…

Watching War Begin

Surreal. There is no other word. Last night I was having a cup of after-dinner coffee, working on my computer with MSNBC on in…

A Love Letter to Allan Karlsson

Even if he’s a little older than I am How do you thank a storybook character? I need to send a giant hug to…