I always have trouble figuring out whether the things I'm doing with tenses are right or not. It confuses and frustrates me, because sometimes it looks okay and sometimes it doesn't. I know in some cases it's alright to mix things up, but sometimes I'm just not sure and end up butchering entire paragraphs because I don't want to stray off the rules of the King's English too much. Take this part for example. We looked each other in the eyes for a sec. She really was beautiful, looking back at me with big-pupil puppy dog eyes. I couldn't believe that I was pulling this off. If there is such a thing as Karma, I should get run over by a truck when I walk out the door. That last part in bold is what throws me. I switch tenses there, but it looks alright to me. I tried putting that sentence in past tense like the rest, but I can't get the same ring to it. This is how I would tell the story if I was talking to someone. I sometimes also do this when I'm describing something in particular. It looks like it's good to me when there is a sense of urgency or another intense moment. In my current story, I write from a first person narrative. At one point the main character is seducing a woman. I describe what's going on in past tense (like the rest of the entire story), with pieces of dialogue in present tense. Once things intensify, I also switch my description to present tense. I didn't do this on purpose, it just happened that way and I noticed it later. I re-wrote those pieces in past tense, which makes it consistent, but it also loses something. It's instantly less direct, less intense and personal.