Present Tense: Yay or Nay?

Okay, I really need your guys’ opinion on this. Please read the following paragraph.
I followed Marcus into the front room and stopped short. Wow. It was huge. The staircase was like as wide as my bedroom, and the two would-be tall house plants were dwarfed by the towering ceiling. I looked around in wonder. Was this seriously someone’s house?
That is called past tense, and is how the majority of books are written. Now read this paragraph.
I follow Marcus into the front room and stop short. Wow. It’s huge. The staircase is like as wide as my bedroom, and the two would-be tall house plants are dwarfed by the towering ceiling. I look around in wonder. Is this seriously someone’s house?
This is called present tense, and it unusual in published books. In my opinion, though, it’s much more personal and, well … present. It feels as if it’s happening right now. I think it really draws the reader in, as if “I” is, indeed, the reader.
So I need your opinion. Shall I go with the tried and true, which, though not as cool, is more accepted? Or shall I go with the unique, the risky … yeah, you can tell I’m biased. The only thing that prevents me from going with the awesome present is that I’m already committing 2 novel no-no’s with this book. 1, having all three viewpoint characters be first-person (I, me) and 2, it’s gonna be longer than the average novel. So it is really worth it to add to my literary sins and increase the difficulty of getting it published?
Needless to say, I can’t decide. Please comment and give me your honest opinion. I don’t care if you’ve never even considered writing a book. Just tell me which you think would be more desirable – a better book or better chance of it being published and therefore reaching more individuals?


"In the good old days..."

I love elderly people. Seriously, they're amazing. It's almost as if they're a different type of people altogether. Maybe that's just because most of the people I talk with are either my age or my parents.

But old folks? They rock.

This revelation came to me when I joined the Rogue Gold Band, a jazz band in town comprising of a dozen or so elderly musicians - and me. Every Monday as I pack up my trombone into the trunk, I smile as I anticipate all the friendly smiles, corny puns, playful jokes, heartfelt compliments and warm laughter about to surround me. It's a beautiful break of every day life.

It almost seems to me like time slows down when I'm around these folks. They take life slower, and I'm pulled into the ease, pulled away from rushing and stressing. It's a time I dearly need.

Another thing I love about these people is that they've been through so much of life. That alone is really cool to think about - "Wow, she's been married, had kids, had grand-kids" - it sure makes me realize how much of life I have ahead of me. But the stories they have to tell! I think that's why they are often eager to talk. They own an array of beautiful and horrible experiences and are only too happy to share them.

You'd almost think that after so many years of life, these people would be perfect, fully matured and sanctified. But the truth is, they're sometimes unreasonable, overly sensitive, self-absorbed - just like us. It's a sober reminder that our sin nature will only be removed, by the grace of God, when we die. And it gives us all the more reason to be diligent in our pursuing the fruits of the spirit, never assuming we will just "be a better person" when we turn 21, or 25, or 40, or 90. Now, in essense, is the only time we have.

So. Go take a moment, and think about when you will be one of the "old folks". Will you look back on your life, on the days when you had boundless energy, and smile? Or wish you had used it in a wiser way?

Oh, and go talk to an elderly person. I guarantee they will make you smile.  :)