iPad![simple_series title=”Top 10 Top 10 of 2012″]

Well, it’s that time of year again:


I’m just about as giddy as a nine-year-old on Christmas morning, with the exception that I don’t expect to receive anywhere close to this amount of gifts. Most of my family has been alerted to the fact that I actually prefer used books from Amazon, preferably those in the $0.01 – $0.01 range (with the usual $3.99 shipping fee).

That means most of my family can “get out cheap” and just get me a stack of books for twenty books, wrap them separately, and voila! I’ve got 9 gifts under the tree, ready and waiting for me on Christmas morning!

However, I’m still a dreamer. 

I hadn’t made a completely unrealistic list since childhood (an era I’m still struggling to phase out), so I thought it’d be fun to self-indulge a little. Plus, there are a few “writerly” gifts here that you’re welcome to steal ideas from.

Or, better yet, you can just buy them for me…

#10. Kindle Fire

What real writer these days is without a Kindle? When my dad let me “borrow” his 1st-generation Kindle a year ago (that’s in quotes because I’m still “borrowing” it), I fell in love with it on my honeymoon cruise (I know that sounds terrible, but my wife was on a deck chair right alongside me, reading away!).

When I heard of the latest Fire release, I thought it was either an iPad-killer or a knockoff. Turns out it’s neither — it’s like an Android device that looks amazing and has the battery life of one of those California Redwoods.

#9. The Ender Quartet Box Set

I totally nerded out earlier this year and read my first “true” sci-fi novel (I know, where have I been all these years?!). It was Ender’s Game, by the venerable Orson Scott Card, and I absolutely loved it.

When I came across this little piece of nerddom, I immediately clicked “Add to Wish List.”

#8. The 4-Hour Chef

As you probably know, I’m a Tim Ferriss fan. I’ve read The 4-Hour Workweek twice, and have The 4-Hour Body ready and waiting on my shelf in case I ever feel the urge to start treating my body nicely again (I won’t).

#7. Write Great Fiction – Collection Bundle

Since I started writing fiction, I’ve been on the hunt for a still-living fiction teacher to rival the mastery of Dwight Swain. I believe I’ve found that author — James Scott Bell — in no small part because of his sheer volume of helpful guides and books on writing.

I love Plot and Structure, and when I caught this box set of the Write Great Fiction series, I knew I had to have it.

#6. Total Diplomacy: The Art of Winning Risk

We’re getting to the “nerdfest” that is the upper echelon of my wish list. To kick it off, I’m a huge Risk and other similar board games nerd. On the annual Mamping (Man-Camping) trip we embark on, Risk is a constant throughout the weekend (as is crappy weather, below-freezing temperatures, and lots of bacon).

I’ve been wanting to get my hands on this book for some time now, if only to have it sit on my shelf as a certificate of my Risk-nerdness.

#5. Story Engineering

Again, I’m a huge fan of Larry Brooks and his site, StoryFix.com. He’s second-to-none in explaining the structure and organization of stories, and I went through his entire website when I was struggling with my first novel.

I’ve heard this book is the holy grail of plot structuring and story organization, so I’ll buy this regardless of if it shows up in a stocking tomorrow or not.

#4. Computer Memory

When I found out my shiny new MacBook Pro could hold up to 16GB of RAM, I just about pooped my pants.

In all seriousness, at my part-time church gig I’m usually neck-deep in a pro-level memory-sucking application like Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop, and anyone who works with video or graphic applications knows that processor power and memory are the name of the game.

#3. Board Games

Ever heard of Carcassonne? Or Dominion? What about Settlers of Catan or Ticket to Ride? These are all real games, and they are all awesome.

I want them.

need them.

#2. Canon EOS 60D DSLR

That’s code for a camera that doesn’t suck, doesn’t need to be replaced every two years, and one that Mom probably won’t ever learn how to use. 

Most of those features are good, with the possible exception of the last. However, it’s a digital SLR, which means it’s a fancy-schmancy automagical device that can be set to just “point and shoot” (kinda) awesome pictures filled with awesome. Plus it shoots HD video!

Again, I do need it.

#1. Apple iPad

Finally, the Mac fanboy in me is calling out to include this baby.

Ever since I heard of the iPad’s coming release, I thought it was stupid and that no one in their right mind could ever have a need for such a gadget.

…And ever since I got touch a real, live one at an Apple store, I knew that I needed it, I wanted it, and I had to have it…

What about you? 

What’s on your wish list this year? Anything exciting, or are you asking for the more utilitarian stuff? Leave a comment!