The Moment I Learned Something In A Hotel Room: One morning at BEA, I was killing time in the hotel room, waiting for it to be time to head on over to the convention hall. Unable to find MSNBC on the hotel TV, I was half-listening to a network morning news show I wouldn’t normally watch. I was reading a book at the same time but then a man came on the TV and he caught my attention. He was some kind of financial expert and he was talking about how to instill an appreciation of the value of a dollar in kids. He said kids should receive a weekly allowance equal in dollar worth to their current age. Then ten percent should be taken out for savings and ten percent for charity; the remaining eighty percent they can do with as they like. This money should not be tied to doing chores – they can earn additional money for chores, if that’s the way the parents want to go – but rather as their financial cut as shareholders in the family corporation. As soon as I got home from BEA, I implemented this philosophy and, in the nearly ten years since then, it has served me and my daughter well. This entry has nothing to do with being a writer or publishing or books – except the man on TV had written a book and I learned all this while in my hotel room at a book convention – but it’s some of the most excellent parenting advice I’ve ever received. My kid makes her own contribution to her college fund, makes an annual charitable donation that grows each year, and I have never again felt compelled to buy a stuffed animal or anything else I find useless because I can say, “If you really want that, you have your own money.” And then it’s up to her to decide if the purchase is worth the cost or not.