Yes, it is likely I was flirting with a little hyperbole there in my description of Shirley Jackson. She's no better, nor worse, than many mid-grade writers. I just found all the academic scholarship popping up with her work kind of irritating. It likely did not help I had to read a couple stories of hers in a lit. class in University. English literature classes seemed to have a tendency to do that... They always seem to toss in some rather mediocre fiction, and force you to analyze and research this empty content. Ahhh. There I go again with hyperbole. I haven't even read that particular story. It's the one that was turned into a film, n'est-ce pas?
I shall look into this William Stieg book. I have always liked certain realms of Children's Literature.
The story, above. I like parts of it. The pacing is good. The dialogue is pretty good and at the very least, interesting. Even though the story starts with a description of the weather, I like the way it leaps into being. Only, get rid of the word "storm" in the first sentence. It seems terribly banal there. I might combine the first two sentences in some way. Replace "a storm rolled towards the city" with "dark clouds rolled towards the city", this will allow us to infer from the wind and the dark clouds that a storm is approaching.
This might be a little overwritten at times, though I adore hopelessly overwritten works... However, I find this only works if the writer knows what he/she is on about, and is not just overwriting random bits due to lack of control. This piece seems to be more so the latter. A tendency I sometimes fall into as well.
My only other issue would be the rather cliched narrative. An ominous setting with the weather, a not so chance encounter with a prophetic stranger who turns out to not really be a stranger at all, but someone who has followed your life closely and is now there to set you on the true path, where your undiscovered talents will be unearthed and you will be raised up out of your present dire circumstance. And this first encounter, where you are forced to dredge up a terribly painful memory, and through it to gain sort of toehold on this new pathway to some kind of power/enlightenment. And then, this "fairy godmother/spiritual guide" disappears and you are left back in that dire circumstance, knowing that your life will never again be the same. I don't know. This seems like an awfully predictable storyline.
Regardless of my misgivings as to what you are writing about (I think your talent with prose would be better placed alongside a little more originality), I like your prose stylings. So yes, keep writing!
So, maybe it's just the overly long scene settings (of any sort) that are the problem? New writers have a tendency to do this with weather or awakenings...