Authors Corner with Peter Altschul

Tonight I’ve got a treat for you.

Author’s Corner is back, with another magnificent offering from Peter Altschul.

Author Peter Altschul, has written a New-Year’s fable. A fable, I might add, I’d like to see come true.

Be sure to read all about him in the information provided after this delightful offering.

A New Year’s Fable

Peter Altschul January 1, 2018

President Trooge enjoyed his Christmas vacation on his Florida estate. he played golf. He bragged to his friends about how the recently-signed tax bill would make them all richer. He boasted about his brilliance and golf swing.

On New Year’s Eve, he had gone to bed early, snoring blissfully while suffused in an orange, eerie glow. As the ball dropped near Trooge Tower, a voice intruded into his consciousness.

“President Trooge?”

“Go away.”

“President Trooge.”


“I am Robert Marlor, the ghost of Deep State.”

“Ghosts are fake news!”

Robert Marlor rattled hand-cuffs that glowed in the dark.

“I can assure you that these are not fake.” He rattled the cuffs again. “These cuffs are covered in uranium. The latest weapon in crime control. And we have technology that you can’t even imagine.”

“Go away!”

“I’m hear to teach you something,” the deep state ghost announced, “using teleportation.”

“Everyone can make telephone calls,” the president snorted. “And you’re still fake news.”

But he was transported to a 17th-century Native American celebration in Virginia.

“You’re fired, Marlor!” Trooge twittered, scared half-to-death.

“Calm down, noble stranger,” said an attractive Native American woman.

“You’re gorgeous,” Trooge trilled. “Let me kiss and caress you. All other beautiful women allow me to conquer them.”

“Keep your hands to yourself, horny stranger,” the woman threatened, staring him down.

“Who are you, anyway?”

“I am Pocahontas.”

“No, you’re not. You’re Elizabeth Warren.”

“Stop telling me who I am. Come join our celebration.”

“Listen, Poca. I love you Indians. You have helped me make lots of money at my casinos.”

“Fool!” Pocahontas declared. “You have never sacrificed yourself for anyone else. You disrespect nature’s beauty. Go away!”

“You ungrateful bitch!” President Trooge squawked as he was teleported to a small Pennsylvania town.

“It’s cold!” he shouted. “Get me back to Florida immediately!”

“Happy 2018, Mr. President,” a man in shabby work clothes said. “My house is this way.”

“Who are you? The Deep State is jerking me around.”

“Calm down, Mr. President. My name is Joe, the Plumber.”

“You’re a friend. But your house is awfully small and run-down.”

“Honey,” Joe called. “Look who’s come to join us.”

“I’m Sarah, Joe’s wife,” a middle-aged woman said. “What an honor.”

“And I’m Jean,” a 14-year-old girl quavered from her wheelchair.

“Come join us,” Joe said.

“Look,” President Trooge explained. “I appreciate your support, but I don’t belong here.”

“But you do.” Joe smiled. “For you are the main reason that we live here.”

“You ripped off my dad!” Jean shouted.

“Don’t be rude,” Sarah said, her hand on her daughter’s shoulder.

“But I’m better than Hillary!” Trooge spluttered.

“Tell him,” Jean muttered, “Or I will.”

“Mr. President,” Joe explained slowly. “I signed a contract to be your lead plumber in your Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City. I did the work, but you wouldn’t pay me.”

“You must have done a lousy job!”

“He didn’t.” Sarah glared at the president. “And then you sued us in court so we couldn’t collect.”


“Perhaps. But your refusal to pay us forced us to declare bankruptcy. And the expenses related to Jean’s disability has made it impossible for us to recover.”

“But I’m a great businessman!” President Trooge screamed as he was transported to the top of Trooge Tower.

“Where am I?” he shrieked.

No one answered.

President Trooge looked around. His tower trumped the deserted landscape. In the distance, a marquis read:

Happy January 1, 2038

“Congratulations, Mr. President,” echoed Robert Marlor’s voice. “You won.”

“I’m a winner!”

“You and your friends own everything,” the voice continued. “Look at your kingdom.”

“Where is everyone? The soldiers. The beautiful girls. The trees. The golf courses.”

“The people are all living underground. Technology made nature irrelevant.”

President Trooge found himself back in his Florida bed, sweating and shivering.

“What’s wrong, Dad?” his 12-year-old son Barney asked.

“Bad dream.”

“Well, Happy New Year.” Barney held out his hand.

“Barney, I’ve hurt too many people. And if I continue, our future is bleak.”

“You’re a winner.”

“But winning must not be everything.” President Trooge hugged his son. “Happy new year.”


Hi, my name is Peter Altschul.

Welcome to my media kit, and thank you for perusing my work.


Peter Altschul’s unique professional journey has been kaleidoscopic.  Ivy league graduate.  Customer service rep for the most hated federal government agency.  Grants manager.  Trainer of New York City taxi drivers.  Mediator between pro-life and pro-choice activists.  Workplace diversity and conflict management specialist.  Author, editor, musician, husband, and stepdad.  All with the assistance of six wonderfully quirky guide dogs.

Peter currently lives with his guide dog, Heath, in Columbia, Missouri.


Breaking It Down and Connecting the Dots: Creating Common Ground Where Contention Rules (2017)


In this book of compact essays, Peter Altschul explores topics ranging from psychology, sports, and diversity to family life, politics, and Christianity.  Peruse this book and you’ll find personal stories, political analysis, and satire.  You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll think.  You might find connections you’ve never seen before and common ground where you think none is possible.  Perhaps you’ll be influenced to behave a little differently in order to make things a little—or a lot—better.


These are engaging stories drawing on the author’s broad and eclectic experiences and interests as well as, at times, his perspective as a blind man.  Altschul is promoting a very big change project: restoring confidence in our ability to hang together through nerve-jangling change to preserve what we all hold dear — our common home.  It requires millions of people to commit to acting and speaking out of our better natures — to, as Altschul says, heeding our “better angels.” In a warm and inviting way, these essays invite us to join in.

— Mary Jacksteit, Facilitator and Mediator; Takoma Park, Maryland

Like O’Henry, Peter takes a rather mundane aspect of life and weaves it into a brilliant insight.  Each story reaches a climax with an effectively delivered punch line.

— Ed Hampton, CEO and Managing Member, Performance Perspectives, LLC; Oviedo, Florida

Extremely well-written, lucid, and easy to read.  I was particularly struck by the connection between diversity and conflict (Part II).

— Fred Nickols, Managing Partner, Distance Consulting, LLC; Mount Vernon, Ohio

After reading the book, I have a deeper understanding of how Peter has developed a joy and discipline in his approach to music-making.  Whether singing in choir, playing drums for our church’s Praise and Worship band, or composing interesting music featuring flowing mixed meter and compelling harmonies, he quietly makes his presence felt with his superior musicianship.

— Dr. Timothy M.  Coday, Director of Music, Missouri United Methodist Church; Columbia, Missouri

I really enjoyed the essays on intersectionality (Part III), especially those discussing universal design.

— Allon Shevat, consultant and author; Kfar Saba, Israel

I found that I needed to read each of the essays at least twice to get the full impact.  All are interesting reads, and there are twists in each that make you ponder.  If you are a deep thinker and love to reflect on things you read, this book is for you.

— Judy Redlich, Church Relations Manager, Joni and Friends; radio talk show host; St.  Louis, Missouri

Reading Peter’s words is almost a musical experience.  The rhythm and flow of the words of each piece leaves the reader with a sense of having been well entertained.  But when you go back and read for the subtle nuances, you begin to realize that Peter draws very real connections between belief, loyalty, and behavior that can be applied to any aspect of life.

— Donna Smith, Senior Director, Easterseals Project Action Consulting; Alexandria, Virginia


Breaking Barriers: Working and Loving While Blind (2012)


How do a specially-trained guide dog and a person who is blind learn to work together to become a team? What lessons might those who lead others in the workplace learn from this process? These are two of the themes that the author weaves into his compelling memoir.

Altschul focuses on a thirty-month period in his life, beginning with his fifth guide dog, a Labrador Retriever named Jules, and ending with his move from his urban bachelor lifestyle in Washington, DC, to committed family man in Columbia, Missouri.  Along the way, he describes his unique professional journey with assistance and companionship of five guide dogs.  He also writes about his upbringing, his relationship with music, and the unexpected deaths of his stepmother and father.


“Breaking Barriers” is richly descriptive, humanely attentive to all the people in the author’s life, and especially wonderful where his amazing guide dogs are concerned.  But what I really love is the way the author creates a narrative of forward momentum: each scene is about going ahead, taking the next turn, seizing the moment.  And then there’s the emotional intelligence of the narrator who sees where he’s been and can relate what he knows now-this is the crucial thing in memoir.  And it truly happens in this book!

— Stephen Kuusisto, Director, The Renee Crown University Honors Program and University Professor, Syracuse University

“Breaking Barriers” is a modern literary memoir written by an accomplished musician, facilitator, diversity expert, and business leader who has been blind since birth.  He has tackled the genre with a grace I wish I would find more frequently in contemporary men and women who have written autobiographies.  It’s an excellent book for parents of special needs children, students with disabilities, hiring managers, diversity executives, and others seeking insights about business leadership, corporate diversity, disability employment, and career building.  Altschul also tells some really amusing stories.

— Jim Hasse, Accredited Business Communicator, Global Career Development Facilitator, and Compiler and Editor of “Perfectly Able: How to Attract and Hire Talented People with Disabilities,” published by the American Management Association.



Twitter feed:

Peter Altschul Live and In Person An Excellent interview.

Chat with Peter.


Phone: (573) 442-5829





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